Northern Ireland's women planning to go full-time ahead of Euro 2022

The Irish FA have presented plans for the senior women’s team to train full time to MLAs and Ministers at Stormont.

The change would take place from January as they prepare for the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 – their first ever major tournament.

The reception event entitled A New Dream was hosted by the UUP’s Mike Nesbitt and representatives from across the political spectrum pledged their support to the team moving from part-time status to train full-time.

“I was delighted to see so many political parties represented this evening. It shows just how much support there is for these plans and we will talk to Ministers and MLAs in more detail in the coming weeks,” said Irish FA chief executive Patrick Nelson.

Captain Marissa Callaghan said it was “very special” to get the support of so many at Stormont.

Record caps holder Julie Nelson delivered a short speech outlining how transformative the move will be.

We are on the cusp of something really exciting. Qualifying for the Euros really is a new dream,” she said.

“We know that football can inspire people of all ages and this Northern Ireland team has the potential to inspire a new generation of fans and players. Many of the people in the room can help us realise that potential.”